To the many glowingly written (deserved) praises for Visaranai, let me add my own small note:
If Vetri Maran had made ‘Visaranai’ any more lifelike a police procedural, we’d return home to nurse ourselves with whatever heals a rain of lathis to our backs and a shriveled psyche. Visaranai is one of the most shining examples that only the art of cinema has the power to bring to face, our deepest, darkest and distressing fears. In just over an hour and a half, Vetrimaaran’s toys with those fears, with a relentless onslaught that tests our frailty.
Visaranai improvises a clever two-part plot (an audacious, if not impossible trick to set in motion). The first half of the film adapted from M Chandrakumar’s ‘Lock-up’, is a no-holds-barred indictment of how the “system” can fail the powerless and muffle a human voice, at will. The second half (probably for the sake of viability or popular consumptions), extends the narrative by sourcing incidents from elsewhere to demonstrate how that very system can cull the dispensable from within.
Even when it tries to fan-out its basic premise, Visaranai stays organic ’cause of the grasp, tact, awareness and philosophy that Vetrimaaran brings to his story’s theme. That Vetri Maaran skill is in full display as he masterfully masks the fact that he’s transplanting an outdated and worn subject-matter into something that lives and breathes today.
Visaranai wins your heart by not just exposing you to a different experience, it wins when it plays within certain boundaries. Brute forces runs through, but every show of savagery is carefully controlled, never overplayed. The cast spills over the brim with actors who have the facility to incite a laugh riot, but never make an excuse from an austere execution.
We’re definitely going to miss the talent of Vetrimaran’s editor Te Kishore, without whom Visaranai could have not turned out as powerful. The other strength that holds Visaranai on a higher league is the production/set design that amplifies the tension and nervousness, as it turns every corner.
Pretty sure, over the year, Visaranai will grow into a movie that aspiring filmmakers will set out to beat, figuratively speaking.